Evans scores 26 as No. 7 Texas Tech beats Oklahoma, 88-78

Texas Tech’s best season in 13 years just got a little better.

Guard Keenan Evans scored 26 points Tuesday night as the seventh-ranked Red Raiders pulled away late to down No. 23 Oklahoma, 88-78, in a Big 12 game at Lubbock.

Alone in first place in the conference, the Red Raiders (22-4, 10-3) held OU freshman Trae Young to 19 points in running their winning streak to seven.

Texas Tech hasn’t won 22 games in a season since 2004-05, when the Bob Knight-coached Red Raiders finished 22-11.

Young entered the ESPN national-television game leading the nation in scoring (29.5) and assists (9.4).

In a strategy that proved effective, Tech employed traps with taller perimeter players in holding Young to 4 of 16 shooting.

Guarded alternately by Jarrett Culver, Zhaire Smith and Niem Stevenson, all of them with at least a three-inch height advantage, the Red Raiders hounded the 6-2 Young into an 0-for-9 night from 3-point range.

It was a eventful homecoming for Young, a Lubbock native whose father played for the Red Raiders.

Not only was the Tech defense all over him, so were the fans who booed and chanted.

“I get that everywhere I go,” Young told newsok.com. “Just because I’m back here in Lubbock, I didn’t think I was going to get a welcome-home type of feel.

“I wasn’t expecting anything different tonight.”

In the beginning, Oklahoma jumped out to an early five-point lead and hung on to lead by one at the half.

The Sooners (16-9, 6-7) continued to play well as a team and mustered a 64-63 lead with 8:51 remaining.

But the Red Raiders were too tough down the stretch.

After Evans drove for a dunk to give Tech an 81-74 lead, OU never got any closer.

Young even dribbled off his foot for a turnover on one possession.

Evans, a senior from Richardson, hit 9 of 15 shots from the field. He also tied a season high with 4 three-point buckets on 7 attempts.

Three other Texas Tech players reached double figures in scoring, including center Norense Odiase with 14. Smith scored 13 and Stevenson had 12 off the bench.

“We’re defending. We’re locking people down,” Odiase told lubbockonline.com. “We’re really harping on defense. … We’re tightening it up together in these last six to seven games. We’ve been playing on that end.”

West Virginia escapes with 75-73 victory at Oklahoma

The West Virginia Mountaineers stayed in the thick of the Big 12 title chase Monday night with a 75-73 victory at Oklahoma.

With the win, 19th-ranked West Virginia improved to 7-4 in conference and remained one game in the loss column behind Kansas and Texas Tech, both at 7-3.

No. 17 Oklahoma failed to hit a potential game-tying shot under the basket in the final seconds and lost its first game at home this season, falling to 6-5 in Big 12 play.

Lamont West led West Virginia with 17 points and center Sagaba Konate dominated down low, producing 14 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.

Forward Esa Ahmad also scored 14 for the Mountaineers, including seven points in the final 4:51.

National scoring leader Trae Young of Oklahoma produced a team-high 32 points on 10 of 20 shooting from the field.

Young also hit four three-point shots in the face of a physical West Virginia defense.

But the Mountaineers limited Young, also the national leader in assists, to only one.

West Virginia guard Jevon Carter finished with 10 points, eight assists and six steals.

It was the fifth time this season that Carter has had at least five assists and five steals in the same game.

Records

West Virginia (18-6, 7-4)
Oklahoma (16-7, 6-5)


West Virginia’s Jevon Carter and OU’s Rashard Odomes face off in the final minutes of a Big 12 game in Norman, Okla.

Trae Young scores 44 as OU holds off Baylor, 98-96

Freshman sensation Trae Young produced 44 points and nine assists Tuesday night as Oklahoma edged Baylor, 98-96.

Ryan Aber of newsok.com has the story here.

Young has now produced a Big 12 record of four games of 40 points in a season. Here’s a breakdown:

Nov. 26, 2017
Final score: Oklahoma 90, Oregon 80
Where: Portland, Oregon
Points: 43
Assists: 7
Minutes played: 37
Field goals: 11-22
Three pointers: 4-11
Free throws: 17-18
Notable: Young scored the most points for a Sooner since Buddy Hield had 46 in then No. 1 Oklahoma’s 109-106 loss to No. 2 Kansas in triple overtime on Jan. 4, 2016, according to the Associated Press.
Quotable: “I found my teammates and found some for myself,” Young said. “My teammates did a great job of knocking down shots and that opened up the floor for me.”

Dec. 30, 2017
Final score: Oklahoma 102, TCU 97 in overtime
Where: Norman, Oklahoma
Points: 43
Assists: 7
Minutes played: 40
Field goals: 15-27
Three pointers: 10-18
Free throws: 3-7
Notable: Young scored 29 after halftime. It was Young’s second dominating performance against TCU this season. He had 39 in Fort Worth on Dec. 30.
Quotable: “Sometimes you wonder, is he even human?” asked Oklahoma guard Christian James.

Jan. 20, 2018
Final score: Oklahoma State 83, Oklahoma 81 in overtime
Where: Stillwater, Oklahoma
Points: 48
Assists: 8
Minutes played: 43
Field goals: 14-39
Three pointers: 8-20
Free throws: 12-12
Notable: Young missed a long three at the overtime buzzer. None of Young’s teammates scored more than eight points.
Quotable: “We’ve got to work harder on getting more motion away from the ball and get the ball moving a little bit,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said.

Jan 30, 2018
Final score: Oklahoma 98, Baylor 96
Where: Norman, Oklahoma
Points: 44
Assists: 9
Minutes played: 38
Field goals: 11-20
Three pointers: 6-11
Free throws: 16-19
Notable: The next stop for Young and the Sooners is Austin. OU plays at Texas on Saturday.
Quotable: “Trae Young is a special player,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “His 3-point shot is obviously elite. What we tried to do was not get him on the free-throw line. As you can see, we weren’t effective there.”

Clutch shooting lifts OU past Kansas, 85-80

Christian James and Brady Manek knocked down clutch three pointers in the final 69 seconds Tuesday night as 12th-ranked Oklahoma rallied for an 85-80 victory in Big 12 men’s basketball over No. 5 Kansas.

National player of the year candidate Trae Young, a freshman, assisted on both baskets.

Playing at home before an energized crowd, Oklahoma (15-4, 5-3) led for much of the first half and held a two-point edge at halftime.

But first-place Kansas (16-4, 6-2) started to click after intermission, surging into a 10-point advantage with nine minutes left.

When guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk buried a three pointer with 9:26 remaining, the Jayhawks had a 72-62 lead.

At the end, Kansas seemed to have control when Lagerald Vick followed a Devonte’ Graham miss.

The basket silenced the crowd and put the Jayhawks up 80-77 with 2:33 left.

From there, the Sooners went on an 8-0 run to the final buzzer.

Young hit a couple of free throws and then created plays for James and Manek.

On the first play, Young drove baseline and, from under the goal, he passed outside to James on the wing.

James, who was 0-for-6 from three-point range in his last game, swished the shot with 1:09 remaining to give the Sooners an 82-80 lead.

After Mykhailiuk missed a three on the other end for Kansas, Young got the ball in his hands again, and he punished the visitors.

Dribbling at the top of the three-point circle, Young drove to his right. With his head down, he hooked a no-look pass to Manek on the right wing.

Manek swished it with 27 seconds left for the final points.

Young, who ranks No.1 in the nation in scoring and assists, finished with 26 points and nine assists. James scored 15 points and Manek had 14.

Mykhailiuk scored 24 to lead the Jayhawks, while Malik Newman added 20.

Graham, Kansas’ leading scorer at 18 points per game, had a rough night shooting the ball, hitting only 4 of 19 from the field.

He finished with 11 points and nine assists.

Around the Big 12

Down by 15 points in the second half, 14th-ranked Texas Tech came from behind to stun Oklahoma State, 75-70, in Lubbock…

The conference race has tightened considerably, with Kansas (6-2) leading by a game over Oklahoma, Texas Tech, West Virginia and Kansas State (all 5-3). Texas (4-4) is two games back …

Kansas leads Big 12 basketball race by two games

The first-place Kansas Jayhawks might be hard to catch in the Big 12 basketball race if they can win at Oklahoma Tuesday night.

Kansas will take a two-game lead in the loss column on four different ball clubs leading into a game against OU at the Lloyd Noble Center.

West Virginia trailed Kansas by a game until Monday night, when it got beat 82-73 at TCU.

Now, Kansas (16-3, 6-1) leads by a game and a half and two in the loss column over both West Virginia (16-4, 5-3) and surging Kansas State.

Kansas State (15-5, 5-3) won on the road Monday night, knocking off Baylor, 90-83.

OU (14-4, 4-3) and Texas Tech (15-4, 4-3) both are two full games back with a little more than a third of the conference schedule in the books.

In Fort Worth, TCU started its day getting dropped from the AP Top 25 rankings.

But it finished with authority, recording a victory at home over a Top 10 team for the first time in nearly five years.

Guard Alex Robinson produced 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds to lead the Frogs, who are playing without injured standout Jaylen Fisher.

Fisher was lost for the season last week after right knee surgery.

West Virginia came into Fort Worth on a roll, having blown out Texas 86-51 at home on Saturday, only to follow it up with a 33 percent shooting performance at TCU.

Jevon Carter had 16 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Mountaineers.